Ontario: Cannabis Culture Dispensary Back In Business One Day After Police raid

Cannabis Culture.jpeg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Cannabis Culture marijuana dispensary in Ottawa, Ontario reopened recently one day after a police raid had closed it down.

The shop had just opened about three weeks ago.

Police arrested five men at the shop Thursday morning and charged them with five counts of possessing a Schedule II substance for the purpose of trafficking (marijuana, THC oil, THC shatter, hashish and CBD oil) and one count of possessing the proceeds of crime under $5,000.

A spokesman for Cannabis Culture said Thursday night that the shop would reopen as soon as possible.

Customers were visiting the shop again by 10:30 am Friday.

Activists Marc and Jodie Emery, the couple that founded Cannabis Culture, have been granted bail.

Marc Emery faces 15 charges, including conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, trafficking, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of proceeds of crime, while Jodie Emery is charged with five similar counts.

Denmark: Hippie Wonderland Christiania Boasts World's Largest Hash Market


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

When Americans think of cannabis destinations in Europe, that usually means Amsterdam. Those a bit more in the know might even mention the nascent cannabis clubs of Spain. But many haven't heard of the biggest green-light district of all: Christiania, in the heart of Denmark's capital city, Copenhagen.

Christiania, established in 1971 by hippie squatters, is one of the largest communes in history, reports Julia D'Orazio of News.com.au. Its population includes people from all walks of life, including hippies, businessmen, and outsiders, who are quickly integrated into the community.

The commune is a stand-alone municipality within Copenhagen, and over its history, it has seen legal battles over ownership of land and constant debates over the way of life it represents. Creative and free-spirited people, along with anarchists and outsiders, poured into the area once it declared its independence on an old abandoned military base.

Christiania is known as a peaceful and tolerant sanctuary; it covers 34 hectares populated with warehouses, huts, makeshift houses, and creative artwork reflecting its bohemian character. Its streets are lined with unusual buildings made from recycled and repurposed materials and low-budget do-it-yourself projects.

Pakistan: Military Conflict Threatens Marijuana Crop


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Pakistan's traditional marijuana crop, basis of its thriving hashish industry, is being threatened by Pakistan's decade-long war against terrorism and Islamist militancy.

Harvest would traditionally take place in October, and hashish production not long after that, reports Tim Craig at The Washington Post. But much of the crop in the Tirah Valley in Pakistan's tribal belt has been abandoned, and is in danger of becoming yet another casualty of the conflict.

After Taj Muhammad Afridi planted cannabis seeds in February, the Pakistani military began a series of operations in the Tirah Valley against Taliban fighters who were hiding out there. The operation forced Afridi and 250,000 other residents to leave their homes; many are still waiting to return.

"We know that our crops are still there," said Afridi, 65, who has for decades helped make stoners mellow around the world. "But I don't know what the future will be. Will the military allow this?"

Lebanon: Hashish Growers Say They're Ready To Join Fight Against ISIS


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Hashish growers in Lebanon's cannabis-rich Bekaa Valley say they are ready to join the fight against Islamic militant group ISIS.

The Lebanese army and the hash growers -- who formerly trained their weapons on each other -- now have a common enemy, because ISIS has been targeting marijuana crops in Syria, reports Rebecca Collard at PRI. The group recently posted a video online of ISIS militants destroying shoulder-tall stalks of cannabis near the city of Aleppo.

With the Bekaa Valley hashish factory of Ali Nasri Shamas in Bouday, Lebanon, just 30 minutes from the Syrian border, that's a big concern. Many area residents fear the wild-eyed jihadis, known for their practice of beheading opponents in online videos, are coming to the valley.

But Shamas said he's ready if they do. "This is for ISIS and [the Al-Qaeda-affiliated] Nusra Front," he said, showing off a two-foot long machete.

That's not the extent of his arsenal, in case you're wondering. He also has mounted machine guns, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, all originally bought to defend his crops from the Lebanese army -- but now ready to be turned against ISIS.

When ISIS militants attacked a border village between Bouday and the Syrian border back in October, hash farmers joined in to defend it. "When we heard they were attacking Brital, I joined the other men going to defend the village," said one man who asked to be called Abbas.

Morocco: Hash-Producing Nation Considers Marijuana Legalization


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new law being considered in Morocco that would legalize marijuana cultivation for medical and industrial uses, finally bringing the North African Islamic nation's thriving hashish industry into the open.

The proposal, however, faces stiff opposition in this conservative nation, despite a centuries-old tradition of growing cannabis in the north, where the Rif Mountains have long been a center of hash production, reports Paul Schemm of the Associated Press.

Some farmers like Abdelkhalek Benabdallah openly grow marijuana, despite its illegal status. "We are regularly subject to blackmail by the gendarmes," he said as he prepared his September harvest.

The new law could alleviate widespread poverty and unrest; suspicious farmers, accustomed to an adversarial relationship with government authorities, don't believe the government will do anything to help them. The farmers fear that legalization might lower the already cheap price of $8 a kilogram they receive for their product.

"If legalization happened for all of Morocco, we could never compete with the other farmers that have lots of land and the price of cannabis wouldn't be any different from that of carrots," said Mohammed Benabdallah, an activist in the village of Oued Abdel Ghaya.

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